GP2 starlet Sam Bird is hoping a stellar twelve months can get him the other side of the paddock fence and into a dream seat in F1.
Bird is one of the young Brits tipped for stardom in motorsport and is hoping that with his new GP2 team iSport International, he can get the results that will force a F1 team to give him a chance.
And the hot prospect has already had a taste of the machinery on offer in Formula One when he took part in the Young Driver test at Abu Dhabi at the end of last season.
Talking to thecheckeredflag.co.uk he said: “It is everybody's dream in GP2 to make it in Formula One. You've got 26 hardworking young men trying to make it, so it's very difficult.
“However, after testing the machinery for a couple of years at Williams and most recently at the Mercedes GP Team my aim is definitely to be there as soon as possible and I will be doing some work with Mercedes in 2011.
“I've always had this dream of becoming a racing driver and winning at the top level and that means competing and being successful in Formula One.
“It will take a lot of effort but we're nearly there now and you can almost smell it and taste it from being the other side of the fence in the GP2.”
Having just completed the Asia GP2 series, Bird was pragmatic about the results and believes that he has the outright pace to be a threat in the main European series.
He explained: “I suppose I am disappointed when you look at the results sheet but very encouraged by the speed we had.
“Unfortunately due to circumstances, most of which were out of my control in Asia, we weren't always able to achieve the positions we wanted.
“The main thing was that the speed was there. I've just come back from Imola and we qualified second there and were quickest in free practice and one of the quickest in the races, so it all bodes well for the European season.
“When we reach the European series everything will hopefully come together nicely and we will be able to fight for the Championship.”
Bird will be watching eagerly on Sunday when the lights go green in Australia for the new F1 season and can't wait to follow in the footsteps of Sergio Perez, Jerome D'Ambrosio and Pastor Maldonado who all make their Grand Prix debuts.
He said: “I think it's going to be interesting. Clearly, Red Bull is very strong right now and will take some beating. However there are a couple of other teams who have made some significant progress in testing and who have the talent pool to catch up, including Mercedes, so I would not rule them out.
“Because all the rookies are in different teams it will be very difficult to judge their performances against each other but I think all of them will do well.
“I think GP2 is a good testing ground for any young driver trying to get to Formula One. It's the place to be, they've all succeeded in GP2 so there's no reason why they can't achieve good things this season and in the future and I hope I can join them very soon.”